Another Chapter

oldhouseIn 1954, two women moved into an old house in the middle of a Trenton, Tennessee cotton field. They’d left another life behind in Southern California. This was the story I told in Annabelle’s Ruth.

A few days ago, I finished writing the next chapter of their lives.

Annabelle’s Ruth is a modern-day retelling of the Book of Ruth. I set the story in the 1950s. Instead of working in the grain harvest, Connie Cross–my Ruth character–works in the cotton fields.

alabama-1618299_1280In the sequel, tentatively titled, “Sutter’s Landing”, I welcome a few new characters to the story. The sweet romance between Connie and Alton blossoms into full-blown love. And Connie’s mother-in-law, Annabelle, struggles with something unexpected.

Emotions boil over a couple of times as Connie and Alton prepare for their wedding. Alton’s unpleasant brother Jensen returns, with new ways to irritate them.

But the kinsman redeemer really steps up and shows his mettle. I loved getting to know Alton better, as he responds to life and its situations.

I enjoyed writing this second book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. I hope you’ll love reading it. Look for it later this year. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I’m already working on the next chapter in the lives of my characters.

WinterRoadLast week, I promised you “P” words for the new year.



A very good way to start off the year, don’t you think? Have a blessed week!

Annabelle’s Ruth – Grace Award Winner

Just in case you didn’t hear the news, Annabelle’s Ruth won a Grace Award!

Click here to see the announcement on the Grace Awards website.

I am humbled and proud at the same time. Is that even possible? Well, when you’re a writer, it’s a huge blessing to know someone actually likes your stories. Writing is hard work. You never know how it’s going to be received.

Along with Annabelle’s Ruth, which won in the General Fiction/Women’s Fiction category, five other books won their categories. I’ve read a couple of these, and they’re excellent. I’m humbled to be mentioned alongside them. Congratulations to all the winners!

(Click the title to read about the books)

51KUaSnb2cL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_BRIDGE OF FAITH by Catherine West – Romance/Historical Romance

41cywFsPezL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_TRIAL BY TWELVE by Heather Day Gilbert – Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense

518t7jxgg1L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_STORMING by K.M. Weiland – Speculative Fiction


Saving Eric front cover

SAVING ERIC by Joan Deneve – Action Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction

51htPiby5tL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischoff – Young Adult




reading-925589_1280So if you’re looking for a good read this summer, these are a good place to start. And you can order Annabelle’s Ruth by clicking the bookcover over there ⇒ ⇒ (in the side margin). And don’t forget my latest release, Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 Legacy Series. Now Available on Kindle! Both books are only $4.99 each on Kindle.

NEXT UP – Stop back by next Tuesday for an update on our mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador. There are some exciting things in the works for this trip. I can’t wait to tell you about it…

Cuenca Update

11110509_10204170624365310_3489856107082246488_oRemember this checklist?

  1. Write first post for 2016.
  2. Complete book 2 of Kinsman Redeemer Series: Sutters Landing.
  3. Get passport photo.
  4. Get passport.
  5. Fly to Cuenca, Ecuador for mission trip that includes a speaking engagement.
  6. Did you see #5?
  7. Omgosh! I am actually going to Ecuador!

This was part of my first post for 2016. Can you tell I was excited?

It’s now the second week of March. We have barely four months left to prepare for our mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador. I’m really starting to feel the excitement (mixed with a tiny bit of anxiety). Here’s an update on our progress:

  • Applied for Passports
  • Annabelle’s Ruth is being translated into Spanish

Okay, the list looks short, but it represents a lot of time and work. In the meantime, I’m familiarizing myself with the needs and interests of the women I’ll be speaking to in Cuenca. You know, looking at the photos, many of them look just like you and me. And their needs? Very similar to ours. So what’s the difference? Why do I need to go?

Step 1 – Calling. That’s a big thing. Has God called you to do something? What was your answer? Sometimes, we “feel” called, then nothing happens. Perhaps it didn’t happen because you didn’t go. If you’re looking for a job, do you sit at home waiting for a phone call? How will prospective employers know you’re looking, if you don’t let them know?

Step 2 – Prayer. Prayerfully consider, contemplate, meditate on the calling. This is an important step that should not be overlooked. When my son approached me about going to Ecuador, I was hesitant. But I promised to pray about it. My prayer was simple. “Show me Your way.” I kind of needed a sign. I got a big one. Our contact starting planning around my latest book, and formulated plans for me to speak. Was I ready for that? No, but I’ll get ready. God showed me His way and I’m stepping into it.

writing-923882_1920Step 3 – Make a Plan. Someone else made my plan, I didn’t have to. This happens to me a lot, but I’m okay with it. God knows me pretty well. If He left it up to me, well…it probably wouldn’t get done. I’m a champion procrastinator. Or at least I have been in the past. It’s something I constantly battle. But you may be on your own. So…

  • Make a plan.
  • Write it down.
  • Don’t be afraid to change or adjust the plan as you work toward the goal. Sometimes, your plans don’t fit the situation. Be flexible.

In the coming weeks, I’ll work to finish my preparations. The translation of Annabelle’s Ruth will continue. When it’s ready, we’ll print the books. The plan is to have that first printing fully paid, so we can use whatever funds the sale of the books bring in, for the women’s ministry in Ecuador. If you’d like to contribute to the first printing of the Spanish version of Annabelle’s Ruth, you can click the following link, and please reference “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comments:

Ecuador-2If God touches your heart to do so, please pray for our team over the coming weeks, as we prepare for this journey. If you’d like to pledge your prayer support, please comment on our Facebook page. Click this link – Owens to Ecuador 2016.

If you’re not on Facebook, you can leave a comment on this post, or use the Contact Me tab above to send me an email. To help with the costs of this trip, you may contact me or visit our GoFundMe page. Any funds collected above the cost of our expenses will go directly into one of the wonderful ministries for women in Cuenca. I’ve supplied additional links below for your information about some of the ministries in Ecuador.


The Translation of Annabelle’s Ruth

Ecuadoran Women
Photo by Tiffany Sexton Riggs

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, or my Facebook page, you already know about my upcoming trip to Ecuador. I’ll be ministering to women while I’m there. These women have specific needs. More than anything, they need love and the assurance that God is for them. No matter what life has dealt them, His redeeming power can help them overcome. Take for example, the women of the Book of Ruth.

After losing everything, Naomi returned to the land of her birth. She felt God calling her back there, where she’d be safe, among her family. Her daughter-in-law Ruth didn’t have to go with her. Naomi excused her from doing so. But Ruth insisted. Her love for Naomi kept her by the woman’s side. God saw Ruth’s obedience and great sacrifice. He chose to bless her. Not only that, but He provided for Naomi through Ruth’s obedient service.

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final CoverI knew Annabelle’s Ruth was special as soon as I began writing. Actually, even before that, when the idea “popped” into my head. As the story fleshed out and became real, I knew in my heart, it was destined for greatness. Not long after it was published, the comments started coming in.

“This story is such a blessing!”

“Annabelle’s story has revived my hope, when I thought all was lost…”

It’s good to know that so many are enjoying the story and being blessed by the message of the book. So, I was especially excited to learn that Annabelle’s Ruth will be translated into Spanish. In fact, the process has already begun.

What excites me even more—the first printing of the Spanish version will be sold to benefit Unsion Ministries in South America.

In order for this to be possible, we need partners who would be willing to help pay for the preliminary printing of five hundred books. The cost will be an estimated $2500 – $3000. With the cost of printing the books paid in advance, we’ll be able to use all the proceeds from the sales to bless the women’s ministry in Ecuador.

I’m not asking anyone to give the full amount, though that would be amazing! Whether you can give a few dollars or a few hundred, that would help us on our way.

If you’d like to be part of this opportunity to be a blessing, you can click the link below to make your contribution (and please type “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comment box):

If you have any problems with this link or have further questions, please contact me via the “Contact Me” tab above this article (or contact me through my Facebook page).

God bless you, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!

For more information about the mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador:

Meeting People, Making Friends

It’s part of being a writer. Getting out, going places, meeting the people who read, or will read our books and hopefully, become readers of our future works.

After the release of Annabelle’s Ruth, I contacted the library in the town of Trenton, Tennessee (the setting of the story) and offered them a free book.

The librarian answered me right away: Yes, please!

So I sent her one. She read it, and loved it. When I visited Trenton a few months later, I stopped by the library to meet her.

Connie Bates is the librarian in Trenton, Tennessee. She told me about a group of ladies who meet next door to the library at the Trenton First United Methodist Church to discuss books and asked if I could return and speak at one of their meetings. Of course, I was happy to.

Connie Bates (far left) next to me and two of the ladies who meet once a month.

20151005_130552I had no idea what to expect as I entered the beautiful, historic building that houses the church (see embedded photo below). There were nine ladies in attendance on this day. I was treated to true Southern hospitality, made to feel welcome, and even sold some books. A few of them had already read the library’s copy of Annabelle’s Ruth. Connie told me there’s a waiting list to read it. That made me happy. 🙂

Connie Bates took time away from the library’s annual book sale to attend the meeting. I am so thankful to her for the time and energy involved in getting me to the meeting and publicizing the event.

These ladies made comments that will strengthen the next book in the Kinsman Redeemer series, Sutter’s Landing.

I so enjoyed meeting all of them! They asked lots of questions and I ended with one for them. I asked how they ran their meetings. Do you choose a book to read together? They laughed and one of them admitted, “No, we read lots of books then share which ones we liked, so the others will know what’s good to read.”

That’s a different sort of book club, then. I had to laugh. It reminded me of my good friend Cherry, who attends a monthly bunco meeting. The same group of women have been getting together for years to play bunco. But it’s not about the game, she told me. It’s a time to get together, visit, and talk about our lives.

I suspect this particular book club provides the same service. These ladies have shared a lot of moments over the years, and I am especially grateful they shared these moments with me. I really hope they enjoy reading my book, and invite me back when the next one is published.

Gibson County Courthouse, Trenton, TN
Gibson County Courthouse, Trenton, TN

Once again, I said goodbye to Trenton, with this wonderful sight in the rear-view mirror. I will return to this lovely town. And so will the characters from Annabelle’s Ruth